Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 24th July 2020


    • News: The Ministry of Defence has issued the formal Government Sanction Letter for grant of permanent commission (PC) to women officers in the Army.
    • Details:
      • The Army Headquarters had set in motion a series of preparatory actions for conduct of the Permanent Commission Selection Board for affected women officers. The Selection Board will be scheduled as soon as all affected Short Service Commissioned (SSC) women officers exercise their option and complete requisite documentation,
      • The order specifies the grant of permanent commission to SSC women officers in all the 10 streams in which they presently serve — Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Intelligence Corps, in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General and Army Educational Corps.
      • The order follows a Supreme Court verdict in February that directed the government that women officers be granted PC and command postings in all services other than combat.


    • News: The Shiromani Akali Dal president and former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, on Thursday said the party would not allow any tinkering with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and assured marketing of wheat and paddy crop.
    • About Minimum Support Price (MSP):
      • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). MSP is price fixed by Government of India to protect the producer – farmers – against excessive fall in price during bumper production years. The minimum support prices are a guarantee price for their produce from the Government. The major objectives are to support the farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution. In case the market price for the commodity falls below the announced minimum price due to bumper production and glut in the market, government agencies purchase the entire quantity offered by the farmers at the announced minimum price.
      • In formulating the recommendations in respect of the level of minimum support prices and other non-price measures, the Commission takes into account, apart from a comprehensive view of the entire structure of the economy of a particular commodity or group of commodities, the following factors:-
        • Cost of production
        • Changes in input prices
        • Input-output price parity
        • Trends in market prices
        • Demand and supply
        • Inter-crop price parity
        • Effect on industrial cost structure
        • Effect on cost of living
        • Effect on general price level
        • International price situation
        • Parity between prices paid and prices received by the farmers.
        • Effect on issue prices and implications for subsidy
      • Government announces minimum support prices (MSPs) for 22 mandated crops and fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane. The mandated crops are 14 crops of the kharif season, 6 rabi crops and two other commercial crops. In addition, the MSPs of toria and de-husked coconut are fixed on the basis of the MSPs of rapeseed/mustard and copra, respectively. The list of crops are as follows.
        • Cereals (7) – paddy, wheat, barley, jowar, bajra, maize and ragi
        • Pulses (5) – gram, arhar/tur, moong, urad and lentil
        • Oilseeds (8) – groundnut, rapeseed/mustard, toria, soyabean, sunflower seed, sesamum, safflower seed and nigerseed
        • Raw cotton
        • Raw jute
        • Copra
        • De-husked coconut
        • Sugarcane (Fair and remunerative price)
        • Virginia flu cured (VFC) tobacco


    • News: Usually by July, Kumartuli — the famed idol-makers’ colony in north Kolkata — turns into a tourist attraction, with amateur photographers and curious visitors clicking away at artisans giving shape to Goddess Durga.
    • About Kumartuli:
      • Kumortuli (also spelt Kumartuli, or the archaic spelling Coomartolly) is a traditional potters’ quarter in northern Kolkata, West Bengal. The city is renowned for its sculpting prowess, which not only manufactures clay idols for various festivals but also regularly exports them.
    • History:
      • The British colonisation of Bengal and India started following the victory of the British East India Company in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The Company decided to build new settlement Fort William at the site of the Gobindapur village. Most of the existing population shifted to Sutanuti. While such neighbourhoods as Jorasanko and Pathuriaghata became the centres of the local rich, there were other areas that were developed simultaneously. The villages of Gobindapur, Sutanuti and Kalikata developed to give rise to the latter day metropolis of Calcutta.
      • Holwell, under orders from the Directors of the British East India Company, allotted ‘separate districts to the Company’s workmen.’ These neighbourhoods in the heart of the Indian quarters acquired the work-related names – Suriparah (the place of wine sellers), Collotollah (the place of oil men), Chuttarparah (the place of carpenters), Aheeritollah (cowherd’s quarters), Coomartolly (potters’ quarters) and so on.


    • News: China launched its most ambitious Mars mission yet on Thursday in a bold attempt to join the U.S. in successfully landing a spacecraft on the red planet.
    • Details:
      • A Long March-5 carrier rocket took off under clear skies around 12-40 p.m. from Hainan Island, south of China’s mainland.
      • China’s space agency said that the rocket carried the probe for 36 minutes before successfully placing it on the looping path that will take it beyond Earth’s orbit and eventually into Mars’ more distant orbit around the sun.
      • China’s tandem spacecraft — with both an orbiter and a rover — will take seven months to reach Mars, like the others. If all goes well, Tianwen-1, or “quest for heavenly truth,” will look for underground water, if it’s present, as well as evidence of possible ancient life.
      • This isn’t China’s first attempt at Mars. In 2011, a Chinese orbiter accompanying a Russian mission was lost when the spacecraft failed to get out of Earth’s orbit after launching from Kazakhstan, eventually burning up in the atmosphere.
      • Landing on Mars is notoriously difficult. Only the U.S. has successfully landed a spacecraft on Martian soil, doing it eight times since 1976.